South Africa parliament to pay tribute

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Members of the Kaiser Chiefs football team arrive at Nelson Mandela's home in Houghton, Johannesburg, to pay tribute. 9 Dec

South Africa’s parliament is to meet to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, as world leaders prepare for Tuesday’s national memorial service.

The sitting comes at the start of a week of commemorative events before a state funeral on 15 December.

More than 100 current or former heads of state or government are to attend either the memorial or the funeral.

On Sunday, millions took part in a “day of prayer” to remember the country’s first black president.

Monday’s parliament sitting will be a special session.

Mr Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and grandson Mandla are both MPs of the African National Congress but it is unclear whether they will attend.

ANC spokesman Moloto Mothapo said: “We hope some members of the Mandela family will be there.”

FW de Klerk, South Africa’s last white president, who shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Mr Mandela, has been invited.

World leaders

Over the next eight days, a series of events will commemorate the man who steered their country out of white-minority rule.

The foreign ministry has confirmed that 91 current heads of state or government have confirmed they are coming to South Africa, along with “10 former heads of state, 86 heads of delegations and 75 eminent persons”.

US President Barack Obama, Francois Hollande of France and UK PM David Cameron will be among those attending Tuesday’s memorial at a Soweto stadium.




The Vatican launched a new “Pope App

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pope-benedict-xvi-0106VATICAN CITY — The Vatican launched a new “Pope App” on the eve of the release of the pope’s World Communications Day message, which will be dedicated to social networks as important spaces for evangelization.

The new app provides live streaming of papal events and video feeds from the Vatican’s six webcams. It sends out alerts and links to top stories coming out of the Vatican’s many news outlets as well as posts images and quotes from Pope Benedict XVI. The app is still in the 1.0 stage so as updated versions come out, there will be a search function for archived media, and links will eventually be shareable online.

“The Pope App” went live today for iPhone and iPad, while an Android version should be out by the end of February. It’s currently available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian.

The Vatican has been stepping up its digital presence in recent years — for itself and the pope — the latest initiative being the papal Twitter feed @Pontifex, which now has more than 2 million followers in nine languages.

ImageThe new app will allow people to follow live broadcasts of papal events — like the Sunday Angelus, Wednesday general audience and other important events — as well as access images and other media from any mobile device or smartphone.

The new “Pope App” will alert users when an event is about to begin and the mobile device will receive the live feed directly from the Vatican Television Center.

The app also will give users views from any one of the Vatican’s six live webcams. Two webcams are located on the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica: one looking at St. Peter’s Square and the other at the Vatican governor’s office. Another is situated high on the colonnade around St. Peter’s Square looking at the basilica and papal apartments. One is directed at Blessed John Paul II’s tomb in St. Peter’s Basilica, another is high on the Vatican hill pointing toward the dome of the basilica and the last is aimed at the gardens of the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo.

“The Pope App,” was launched the day before the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron of journalists, and day the Vatican traditionally releases the pope’s message for World Communications Day.

The theme of this year’s message, “Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelization,” is in the context of the Year of Faith and fresh calls for a new evangelization.

Zimbabwe Police beat up recruits

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SW Radio Africa has obtained exclusive video footage showing a number of police recruits in Zimbabwe being beaten in a series of sickening assaults by what appears to be their instructors. In one horrifying attack, a recruit is pinned down by six officers with one stepping on his back as laughing instructors whip and kick the defenseless man.

Junior Zimbabwean policeman (22) thoroughly beats up senior police officer (39) for dating his wife

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beating-a-policemanA  Zimbabwean policeman constable Tinashe Munhamo (22) based at Nkayi Police Construction Section in Zimbabwe is in trouble after he allegedly assaulted his boss accusing him of having a love affair with his wife.

Munhamo, who fell ill after his arrest and was taken to Nkayi District Hospital where he is admitted, appeared before Nkayi magistrate Ndumo Masuku on Monday on his hospital bed. He was not asked to plead to assault charges.

Prosecutor Maxwell Hapanyengwi said the accused must be remanded in custody as he was facing a serious allegation. He said Munhamo had allegedly threatened to assault his boss Inspector Newyear Rera (39) again and releasing him from custody would endanger Rera’s life. Masuku remanded him in custody to February 4.

Allegations are that Munhamo accused his boss of having an affair with his wife. The court heard that on January 19 at 12 midnight, Rera left his house for the office and Munhamo allegedly waylaid him. He allegedly hit the senior police officer in the neck with an unknown object. Rera fell down and Munhamo again struck him on the left foot with a stone.

He allegedly threatened to stab him with a knife he was holding. Rera, however, managed to grab his hand and sought refuge at the charge office where he made a report.

Munhamo allegedly pursued his boss and threatened to assault him further, but he was restrained by his colleagues who later detained him. Rera sustained several injuries. While in detention, Munhamo fell ill on Sunday and was taken to hospital for treatment.